Rapid Fire 2011-01-24: Russian Assault Rifles

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* Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said that he wants to replace Russia’s iconic Kalashnikov assault rifles and Dragunov SVD sniper rifles, possibly with foreign made weapons. Unsurprisingly, controversy ensues. Media mistake alert: current Kalashnikovs in Russian service are not 7.62mm AK-47/AKMs. They’re 5.45mm AK-74s, which entered service in the 1990s. * Did the Serbian shoot-down of an F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter in 1999 contribute to Chinese development of its J-20 stealth fighter? * Israeli firm Aeronautics DS is set to begin manufacturing parts of its Aerostar and Orbiter UAVs, and performing final assembly, in Baku, Azerbaijan. Azeri use of the UAVs will benefit both countries. Since the opening of the Baku-Ceyhan (Turkey) oil pipeline in 2006, Azerbaijan has become one of Israel’s biggest crude oil suppliers. At least, until Israel transitions to a natural gas economy. * Boeing to slow C-17A heavy airlifter production (14 in 2010, 13 in 2011, 10/yr. after), and cut 1,100 workers – mostly at Long Beach, CA. * Good news for BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards (formerly Atlantic Marine Florida LLC), as navy contracts for cruisers and destroyers, post-delivery work on Pakistan’s new frigate, and post-delivery work on Littoral Combat Ships has nearly doubled its […]

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